CD, Thisco, 2007
A full-length disc featuring the combined efforts of Tatsumaki, Devhour and City Of Industry, “Seek and Thistroy” ventures somewhat away from the usual compilation format that Thisco has so far accustomed us to (and to very good effect), opting instead for a split album focusing on the three Portugal-based acts. At nearly 80 minutes of music, this may feel a bit too stretched for a split EP, even though the diversity of material that can be found within alleviates that to some effect.
Devhour sets off the compilation with a tasty bit of powernoise, providing a good start with its very danceable pace and nicely structured sound. Tatsumaki comes second with a pretty sample-ladden experiment in dark 4/4 that while not bad isn’t great either. The third track, again by Devhour is a mistake in placement in more than one ways, since the industrial feel and (bad) distorted vocals fit more with the next two Tatsumaki offerings (Tracks 5 and 6). Skipping those three tracks of what I will only describe as bad EBM, notice must be paid to the fourth track in the album, which is the first City Of Industry track, a dark industrial-tinged tune led by a noise sweep and keyboards on top of a beat in what is a plain yet efficient track. Resuming our normal course through the tracks, we have the second offering by City Of Industry in track 7, heading in a totally different direction with some pretty hefty breakbeats, giving the pace and sound of the album a nice jolt. Devhour uses the energy passed on to good effect with a fast paced bit of IDM (nice enough to almost make up for the third track), right before returning to another City of Industry track, this time in a slower, more sinister and dark mood. With track 10, we get back to Devhour in a dark IDM tune that almost sounds too old-school for its own sake, before Tatsumaki gives us his second good track in the EBM/Industrial “Silicon Vein”. Devhour’s final offering is a pretty good, pretty fast, and all around pretty dark techno track, while City of Industry parts with us through two similarly paced tracks that still have enough variety in sound and feel to be considered good additions, once again on the slower spectrum of the album’s tracks. Finally, a 13-minute track by Tatsumaki closes the disc, in what could have been a shorter track or two, if only not to tire the listener with its unshifting pace.
Overall, the album did play as complex as the above review reads, with track placement that’s tedious at best, especially considering the differences between the three acts. City of Industry offers the most accessible and diverse material in the disc, albeit not as danceable as the Devhour tracks. Still, Devhour suffers from some fluctuation in the quality of his tracks, although not as painfully as Tatsumaki, that almost brinks on the annoying with “Stage Suicide” and “Smash the Cat” (tracks 5 and 6), despite his otherwise decent contributions.
All in all, though this is not a bad album, it remains somewhat far from offering a good exposure to the work of the three acts, as is the goal of such split releases.
— George Mouratidis